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Census of Agriculture: New Online Data Resource Available

Rural Indiana Stats Website Banner

The Purdue Center for Regional Development has released a new resource as part of its Rural Indiana Stats (RIS) website that can prove valuable to economic and agricultural leaders across the state.  The new addition to the RIS site captures information from the 2017, 2012, and 2007 Censuses of Agriculture, doing so through the extensive use of maps.  One of the exciting aspects of the site is that users are able to explore changes that have occurred in any agriculture sector over the three census periods.  Other resources of relevance to agriculture and forestry-related activities are accessible on the website as well. 

The following are highlights of the agriculture/forestry-related data resources that are now available on the Rural Indiana Stats site:

  • Agriculture Commodities:  Over 40 commodities can be accessed for users to explore.  By selecting any specific commodity, the individual is able to see the amount of acreage dedicated to that particular commodity in each of Indiana’s 92 counties. 
  • Livestock & Poultry:  The inventory of approximately two dozen types of animals are showcased in the RIS site, ranging from Alpacas to Turkeys.  Also included are the total number of operations with animal sales along with the total value of these sales, by county.
  • Indiana Department of Environment Management (IDEM) Permits:  Information on permits issued by IDEM in 2016 (the latest data available) for various types of livestock (such as sows, beef cattle and dairy cattle) are showcased in this section of the RIS site.
  • Cropland Area and Dashboard: Cropland Area and Dashboard:  The number of acres dedicated to various crops, captured annually via satellite and ancillary Census data by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, is presented for the years 2010 through 2017.  The map offers a visual portrayal of the geographic distribution of various crops grown in Indiana.  Hover with your mouse over any county to see the temporal changes in acreage dedicated to the specific crop being examined.  As for the cropland dashboard, it visualizes a “crop profile” for each Indiana County based on the same enhanced land cover data.
  • Indiana Hardwood-Related Businesses:  The site provides information on nearly 4,500 businesses that are engaged in hardwood-related activities, from suppliers of raw products to those selling finished hardwood-related products (such as cabinetry and wood flooring). 

Overall, the agriculture and forestry section of the Rural Indiana Stats site is intended to promote fact-based discussions by local, regional and state economic development organizations regarding areas of the state that could serve as strategic sites for the creation or recruitment of value-added activities.  In particular, the mapping provides a valuable way to identify a cluster of counties with sizable acreage dedicated to specific crops, or the collection of counties with large livestock inventories. With information of this nature in hand, leaders are better able to determine the best possible sites to locate agribusiness, food processing, and/or other key enterprises in Indiana. 

Check out the Rural Indiana Stats site at  For more information, please contact the Purdue Center for Regional Development at 765-494-7273 or    

Please Note:  The Rural Indiana Stats website was developed with financial support from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the Economic Development Administration, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the Indiana Soybean Alliance.

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